F. W. Dupee

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Frederick Wilcox Dupee (June 25, 1904 – January 19, 1979) was a highly distinguished American literary critic, essayist for Partisan Review and The New York Review of Books, and professor emeritus of English at Columbia University. He was an eminent scholar of Henry James, and also wrote on contemporary poetry, fiction, and American culture. Dupee edited editions of Austen, Dickens, Gertrude Stein, and Leon Trotsky. He made the transition from being a radical Marxist who mainly wrote political essays to being one of the most well-respected literary critics of his time. Dupee died of a drug overdose in 1979.[1]

Early life and career[edit]

He was born in Chicago on June 25, 1904, he was the son of Leroy Church and Frances Wilcox Dupee. He earned his Ph.D. degree at Yale University in 1927 and taught at Bowdoin College and Bard College before going to Columbia University in 1948, where he taught modernist literature.


Dupee was a Marxist, and an organizer for the Communist Party in New York City in the mid 1930s. He was a founding editor of the Partisan Review and the literary editor of The New Masses. By 1937 he had had become disillusioned with the Party, although he maintained his socialist thought and activism for the rest of his life.

Selected works[edit]

  • Henry James for the American Men of Letters Series by F.W. Dupee (1974)
  • The Question of Henry James: A Collection of Critical Essays (1947)
  • The King of the Cats and Other Remarks on Writers and Writing (1965)- A collection of essays consisting mostly of previously published book reviews.
  • The Russian Revolution (1959)


External links[edit]